Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Can't sleep, must crochet!


So, the big blocks actually needed to be a LOT bigger to make everything work properly, and I might actually be one short of those. So much for being at the "just seam everything together" point.



Monday, March 26, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cute Bunny Photo (aka Standard Blog Filler)

Okay, there's a lot happening just now, so I'll be back Monday, with, hopefully, a week full of AWESOME FINISHED STUFF. (I have.. let's see... eight, ten, eleven, twelve.... FOURTEEN projects that need to be done in the upcoming week, so that means lots of photos and stuff.)

That's next week, though. For now, have an adorable bunny:

The bunny is Waverly, photo from

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Slipper Frenzy (sorta)

So, I needed a few more things for Quidditch. Monday, night, I started them; Tuesday, I started the photos.

We begin.





Thursday morning....

And now (after lunch):

Those are mine, almost ready (except for a missing soles) ready for assembly. His hexagons will (hopefully) be finished on the train tonight, with soles for all done during the day tomorrow. Whee!

(And yes, I'm making Slytherin slippers for my Ravenclaw boy. It's called "propaganda".)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lovely new Brooklyn Tweed pattern(s)

Jared Flood has a lovely new hat, the Seasons Hat, available in the new Spring Thaw collection. I'm pretty sure someone at Fibre Space mentioned that it was in stock. Will be buying the book... and probably some Loft (if there's any left!) to make the hat.

(SO not my photo. This is Jared Flood's photo of his amazingly lovely hats.)

In less-famous crafter news, the crafters now have closet space at work.

Yep, that's right, my workplace has an Emergency Yarn Stash. Seriously. There are enough knitters/crocheters that any spare yarn will eventually find its way into a project for someone!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Well, it's *supposed* to be a lightsaber, anyway

For the final round of Challenge Quidditch this term, the promt was as follows:
Summary: When the spell opens the portal that brings the future selves, they each come through bearing gifts. The gifts are key items to help defeat the Snarfalumps. What was it you received from your doppelganger? Remember, all items must be 25 yards or more, and must be in a Ravelry-approved craft form. You will have 21 days to craft this object. You may start crafting at the sound of the whistle, 12:00 AM PSTon March 1st. All Challenge 3 projects must be posted by March 21st at 11:59 PST.
So, here it is. I've decided that making a red one... didn't quite work. If your mind lives in the gutter, you'll see what I mean; if it doesn't, that's fine, nevermind.

The orignal pattern has a very short, rounded, stubby blade, and I wanted to make a more tapered one - but the original design is REALLY much better, and for the next one I make, I will follow the pattern exactly. And not make it at 2 in the morning, either, which will probably give beter results for the handle, which is also a bit squiffy:

Yeah. So, a way overtired baby sith made this. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Radiance Shawl: Done!

So, as of Friday, slogging on Order Mission. It's due this coming Saturday, and since (as of Friday) I only had five rows and a cast off left, that shouldn't have been a problem, right? WRONG. that's 15% of the shawl, believe it or not! It's garter stitch, so it goes quickly - for 750+ stitch rows. The yarn/pattern really hangs on itself well because the yarn is so springy - so I've decided NOT to block it. When the cast is off and the ends are wove, that will be it.

But here it is Friday:

I'm not certain I have enough yarn left in this ball, but I bought three because it was going to be close; I figure the row before cast-off is where I'll need to joint the whole new ball. (The leftovers of that ball will be a second Ashton Shawlette, I think.)

I was really REALLY hoping to finish this this past weekend..... AND I DID!!!!

I did, in fact, run out of yarn on the second-to-last row, so I spliced in the new ball and did an EXTRA row, just so there would be two rows between the splice and the cast-off. I ended up doing a crocheted picot border (crochet co 2 st, ch5, crochet co 5st, repeat to end, end with 2 co), and it worked great, and with a bit of poking each loop with a large knitting needle, even *that* didn't need blocking. Seriously. Ready-to-wear shawl! (Also, I love the Wild Hare Galaxy yarn I used to make it. I'll be doing another Dee O'Keefe pattern out of the leftover 480 yards, and hoping to find more Wild Hare Galaxy in the future!).

(Also, I'm making another one of these eventually.)

Friday, March 16, 2012


So, I'm slogging away on my Radiance Shawl for my Order Mission. It's due next Saturday, and since I've only got five rows and a cast off left, that should be no problem, right? WRONG. that's 15% of the shawl, believe it or not! It's garter stitch, so it goes quickly - for 750+ stitch rows. The yarn/pattern really hangs on itself well because the yarn is so springy - so I've decided NOT to block it. When the cast is off and the ends are wove, that will be it.

But here it is in its final hours:

I'm not certain I have enough yarn left in this ball, but I bought three because it was going to be close; I figure the row before cast-off is where I'll need to joint the whole new ball. (The leftovers of that ball will be a second Ashton Shawlette, I think.)

I'm really REALLY hoping to finish this this weekend. Slytherin needs the points, and it's getting to be lovely shawl weather out there!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Muggle Studies - Surprise!

I unexpectedly did a class Tuesday morning from some yarn that one of the ladies at work gave me. "Unexpectedly", since I wasn't sure I'd actually finish in a day - but I did! Anyway, here's the little critters I turned in:
Options: 1, something In Threes - 2, something green.
Project Page: Three Shamrock Bookmarks
Yards: about 25 apiece, so 75 total (with a bit more for the four-leafed one, but call it 75 anyway lest Maths become involved)

These are made with an EYEBLEED chartreuse yarn, so they don't really photograph well if there's any light in the room. (You see the problem.) This is probably the best shot:

These are really quick, if you need something fast & green to wear on Saturday!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


For Arithmancy, we needed to make something math-y. Since helicies were specifically mentioned, and I love cup cozies, and I used to play with DNA for a living, I made a DNA cup cozy. (In high visibility yellow. It really is the best yarn for this for me! And... I think I have just enough yarn to make a third one some time next term.)

On the left, we have the cozy over a small drinking glass, just for shape. Eh, it looks okay. On the right, it's being worn by a 32-oz soda cup (its intended target), and looks much better.

And my hands didn't freeze coming to work, as they are wont to do on brisk spring mornings when carrying cups of ice-cold things. Yay!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Coeurs et Fleurs Snood

For Charms, we had the option of making something about/for/to do with Fleur Delacour/Weasley - so I picked a Coeurs et Fleurs hat. Since I didn't really pay much attention to gauge, and the yarn was both smaller and fluffier than called for, and I'm pretty sure I just used whatever needles were on hand, what I actually have is a lovely Coeurs et Fleurs Snood. But as a snood, it's one of the prettiest I have!

Got a ball of this stuff ages ago, and I'm sure I was going to do SOMETHING with it, but now it's going to be a Coeurs et Fleurs hat:

See? Here it is! This is a lovely, quick pattern, and perfect for about 50g of this yarn. I wanted something in dark lace that wouldn't drive me completely nuts to test-drive for a later project (you'll see). Success was had! Here it is, blocking on a 14" pizza tray, since a 10" plate just wasn't cutting it:

So, that's three hats in three classes. Yesterday's Dragon Hat was the second, and the third hat is the Yuccalike hat from last week. So, *phew*, my March Hat Trick is done, and I've made Nine Hats this term! Woohoo! A Hat Trick o' Hat Tricks!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ear* be Dragons!

Here's my dragon hat WITHOUT ears or horns:

... and here it is all finished:

For CoMC, we had the option: "Make something popular in Britain" - so the following is the blather that supported my wish to make a Toothless hat (from How to Train your Dragon).

Defense of Position: There's the obvious - a dragon on the Welsh flag (which dates back to around 650 AD!!), and there are dragons all over Celtic and Celtic-inspired artwork, historically and today.Two quick internet seraches with british/london dragon revealed a goodly number of pubs around London with "Dragon" in the name, together with the mad proliferation of George and Dragon British Pubs in America - so Dragon is certainly a popular component of British Pub Names. Covent Garden has a Dragon Hall (which has shown the St. George and the Dragon panto). At least one of the boundary markers of the City of London is a dragon:

And then there's this... and we all know that Harry Potter is popular in Britain, and there are definitely dragons associated therewith:

So... I'm going to say Dragons are indeed popular in Britan, and thus I made a Dragon Hat!


*Joke for the G+ crowd.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Potions: Done!!

My turn-in post for my first class. It was going to be a different hat, but that hat fought back massively - so I ended up making a Divine Hat, with a modified brim. The prompt was to study a potion or potion ingredient beginning with X, Y or Z. I took the easy way out, and used an actual plant - but hey, it worked!
Hello, Professors! I decided to study the potion ingredients derived from the Yucca Plant. The Yucca has various uses, both mundane and magical.

The saponin in yucca plants is the major potion-base constituent. Saponins are a class of chemical compounds, one of many secondary metabolites found in natural sources, with saponins found in particular abundance in various plant species. More specifically, they are amphipathic glycosides grouped, in terms of phenomenology, by the soap-like foaming they produce when shaken in aqueous solutions, and, in terms of structure, by their composition of one or more hydrophilic glycoside moieties combined with a lipophilic triterpene derivative. The saponin has both a water- and fat-soluble end and therefore act like soap. Poultices made from the leaves may be used to treat skin sores, inflammation of all sorts, including joint inflammations and bleeding, to fight dandruff and to prevent hair loss.

Magically, this foaming component can be found in Alia Y-acta (liniment of resolve, a comprehensive treatment for muscle sorness, especially that brought on by overexertion), it forms the base for most bubotuber solutions/washes (lessening the sting of astringent treatments), and is suspected to be the base of Lockhart's Lovely Locks Hair Tonic (reverse-engineering continues, but is thus far unsuccessful). Care should be taken, however, that any potions using a Yucca base *not* be taken internally, as there can be unpleasant lower-gastrointestinal results.

To celebrate this useful little plant, I made a Yuccalike Hat:

Here's a photo of me, and a photo of an actual Yucca plant. You can't really even tell which is which!

Actual Yucca Plant


Thanks, professors! I learned quite a bit this class!
....And if I can just figure out what's in that Hair Tonic...
Hopefully, I'll have a bunch of classes and Quidditch to hand in on Monday - I'm running out of time here!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Really, REALLY bright socks.

Things I didn't buy: Cute handbags with pompoms. Pompoms are fashion now, I guess. (And so easy, now that I know you can make them on a fork!)

Things I did buy: six pairs of eyebleed-bright footie socks. Yes, I know, I could just knit my own, but the eyebleed pack was just too tempting to resist.

Not shown in sunlight, because that might blind you.

This blog entry brought to you by Ross, where you can get stuff for less than you might otherwise pay, and my need of a new pair of sneakers, which I also bought. Along with socks and three packs of the hairbands I like. But, you know, for le$$.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sometimes, projects don't behave well at first.

Sometimes, projects just don't want to cooperate right off the mark. They're fiddly, even if they really shouldn't be, or the yarn just does NOT want to play nicely, or you try knitting cobweb mohair lace on a moving train or something equally silly. And eventually, you sit yourself down at your desk, listen to the projects, and make them happy so you can both get along until they're done. To wit:


After doing the same row three times and missing a stitch every time (and having already repaired ONE giant hole in this thing left by a missed stitch), I finally put a lifeline in my Wisp:

Here it is now, well past the lifeline... which probably means I should put another one in.

Entrelac Hat

After casting on, getting through 30 rows of ribbing, the setup triangles and the entire first row of entrelac squares, I decided the hat didn't fit, I hated the edge, and it needed to be frogged. And then the second cast-on didn't quite work. So, third time's the charm, and here's how it looked The Morning After The Frog:

... and here it is actually finished.

It is the warmest, snuggliest hat EVER. I love Feza's Cypus Mohair; I wish it was still available! (Heck, I wish Google could find the Feza site!) OMG!!! appears to have some. Now I just have to decide if it's worth buying out whatever they have left or not...

Gryphon Hat

Using the adult instructions, I at least figured out I should have used the Large Child set for my own hat. (I get a HUGE break on the cost of my glasses, because I can wear kids' frames. And yes, Donna Karan makes kids' frames. The break on the frames is completely offset by the cost of the lenses, so I'm still paying half an arm and three toes, but any savings is good!) So, I frogged back past the last increase row, and started again.

It, on the next attempt, actually got finished and turned into a nice little hat, which I wore at Katsucon for hours on end the weekend before last:

So, if something is going horribly wrong (knitting/crochet-wise, anyway), starting over is usually a good idea if you actually want the finished item!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cross Stitch is In.

This was in the window at CUSP last week:

Yep, that whole waistband is cross-stitched. I was wondering if cross-stitch would ever be "fashion" the way knitting & crochet have been the last couple of years, and I guess the answer is "yes"!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Katsucon Loot

A couple of weekends ago was Katsucon, which is one of the local Anime/SF/Cosplay/Art/Whatever conventions, and one of the bigger ones. (Not Dragon*Con big, but really... what is?) I got some great loot running amok in the Dealers' Room and Artists' Alley. Yes, that's Nyan Cat in several incarnations (tshirt, bumper stickers and pins). The Quidditch goggles aren't actually mine, but my husband's. The comis are the first two printed issues of Snow By Night, which is one of my favorite webcomics.

Here's a close up of some of the stuff. Yep, I got a Deathly Hallows decal for my car. And more pins. And more decals. And some little magnets. And some Munchkin cards.

The prize, though, was an official Slytherin tie. "Do you even wear ties?" asks my husband. Yes, yes I do - IF THEY'RE COOL. And this is. So it will, indeed, be worn. With my Slytherin sweater vest, so there!!

It was fun; next year, we're going to try to be there for more than four hours!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

50% of an O.W.L.

So, I did make my 50% mark (and then some, actually!) on my Defense Against the Dark Arts O.W.L. Since I'm still trying to catch up on blogposts, here's my turn-in post from Wednesday....
Name: CraftyGryphon
House: Slytherin, Sixth Year
Project Page: Tree Skirt Invisibility Cloak
Proposal Post: submitted post 409
Tags: sqwin12 dadaowl defenseagainstthedarkartsowl owlwinter2012
Yards (so far): 3,215.5 (isn't as bad as I thought it might be at this point.)

Hello, Examiners! I made it!!

Proposed 50% Mark: Halfsies!! There are 36 edge squares, 12 big trapezoids, 24 inner trapezoids, and then all the center stuff. The total area of actual crochet (last column, below) is approximately 63 square feet; half is about 31.5 square feet. The 50% point falls about just under 1/4 of the way through the 12" block section, so 1/4 of the 12" blocks (i.e., 3 blocks) plus 24 6" inner blocks plus the 18" of clusters should get me over the 50% mark.

What I've actually got done: 36 edge squares, 12 big trapezoids, 24 inner trapezoids, and all the center stuff. Which is all the component parts, yay! And yet... there is still more to do! I've actually got to join everything together, and math being what it is, it appears I will need to make an additional four small trapezoids for the bottom row. (I evidently calculated a nice pie-wedge opening, instead of the actual "hey, this needs to be straight-closed down the front" that actually happened.)

Here's everything finished thus far, sort of spread out. On a king-sized bed. Except for the 34 outer-edge trapezoids that are dumped in the middle.

The stuff dumped in the middle.

An earlier progress photo to show that there's actually a hole in the center of the thing, which was entirely covered by trapezoids in the other two shots:

Getting it all together and hanging properly AND lying flat is really turning into a challenge. I'm not using any sort of pattern, just making it up as I go, and it's a bit trickier than expected. I'm getting pretty good at figuring out how to crochet pretty strange shapes on the fly, although there's been a LOT of ripping back to get things to work. Whee?
I think I've got a good shot at actually finishing this thing. It's eating up an AMAZING amount of yarn - half a bongo bag so far - and it's going to make a really pretty tree skirt/cloak. But mostly tree skirt, which will be wonderful with my electric-white fake Christmas tree!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

February Wrap-Up

Okay, some of these you haven't seen yet (because I was sick), but they'll show up over the next week. Especially the Invasion Pending.

1. Muggle Studies - Gerald the Groundhog, turned in post 32, marked complete 74, February 2
2. Care of Magical Creatures - TARDIS Dishcloth, turned in Post 82, marked complete post 157, February 6
3. Astronomy - Little Redskins Fan, turned in post 73, marked complete post 85, February 7
4. Charms - Hearts' Illusion Mitts, turned in post 110, marked complete in posts 184 and 193, February 9
5. History of Magic - Sybil's Slytherin Scarf, turned in post 80, marked complete 96, February 13
6. Quidditch - Be My Dishcloth, turned in post 2174, accepted post 2539, February 13
7. Detention - One Fish, Two Fish, turned in 287, marked complete post 309, February 14 (Badge awarded!)
8. Challenge Quidditch #2 - TKGA Level One Hat, turned in post 2224, accepted post 2540, February 14
9. Herbology - Gryphon Hat, turned in post 180, marked complete post 219, February 17
10. Hogsmeade Weekend, Owl Post Assistance - Highly-Visible Owl Cup Cozie, turned in post 167, marked complete post 204, February 19
10-1/2. Hogsmeade Weekend, Shrieking Shack - Got the "I'm More Terrifying than Tom Riddle!" badge for this story
11. BBC Scarfgate Scarf of Doom - not Hogwarts-related, just for fun, February 28
12. Regular Quidditch - Item #3, Entrelac Hat for Me, post 2709, tallied post _____, February 28
13. 50% OWL - Tree Skirt Invisibility Cloak, turned in post 564, accepted post ____, February 28

March classes drop tomorrow (of course), and, per the picture above, I've got a Bunny Nugget Army preparing to launch!!